GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show
GM’s European brands, Opel and Vauxhall, are hoping to spoil the Minis and Fiat 500’s party with its new Adam three-door hatch that will be unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in September.
According the GM’s European design boss, Mark Adams, customers will have the choice of over one million trim combinations: “No other car in this segment can be individualized as much as Adam because we are offering virtually unlimited exterior/interior color, fabric and kit combination choices. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find two identical Adams out there.”
The Adam – only related to Mark because he led the design team – incorporates a ‘floating’ roof which is visually disconnected from the body (like the Audi A1), making the use of the two-tone color schemes more impactful. It also features design cues found in other products in GM’s European range such as the line around the door handle (GTC), the wing-shaped chrome grille bar (new Astra) and the blade shape in the lower doors. It will also be the first car in its class to have the option of LED daytime running lights.
Available in three trims from launch – JAM (fashionable/colourful), GLAM (elegant/sophisticated) and SLAM (racy/sporty) – Adam customers can effectively ‘build’ their own car.
There are almost unlimited visual combinations, with a wide variety of exterior colors – including two different roof colors – interior colors, equipment and materials. Customers can even choose their headlining, including an LED-lit starlight roof trim.
It will be offered with a choice of three ecoFLEX four-cylinder gasoline engines from launch: a 1.2-liter 69 bhp, plus two 1.4-liter engines with either 86 bhp or 99 bhp. Optional stop-start technology will be available across the range and all will be fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox.
Later on, Adam will be the first car in Opel/Vauxhall’s range to adopt a new-generation small gasoline engine, featuring direct injection with forced induction, and an all-new six-speed gearbox.
GM claims Adam is unique in its class with a new top-of-the-range infotainment system designed to support new media sources, including Bluetooth, as well as connectivity for smartphones with Android or Apple iOS software. This enables access to internet-based applications, including GPS navigation. The system uses a state-of-the-art seven-inch, full-color touch screen display allowing quick access to a variety of on-board controls.
Round, mechanical clock-style instruments with chrome bezels mark a departure from those seen in other Vauxhalls, while Adam customers can also opt for a heated steering wheel – another first in the class.
Adam will break new ground in the A-segment, by offering technology normally only found in higher-end cars.
A prime example is the Advanced Park Assist II system, which will be an Adam option never seen before in a Opel-Vauxhall production car. Drivers engage the system with a button on the dashboard and it tells them when they reach a parking space large enough to accommodate the car. The system then automatically steers the car into the parking space, with the driver only needing to control the brake, clutch and gears. APA II uses ultrasonic sensors to work its magic, and always comes in combination with Side Blind Spot Alert (SBSA).
Despite its compact dimensions of nearly 145 inches long and 68 inches wide, Adam’s footprint is relatively broad, with front and rear tracks of 58.4 and 58.1 inches, respectively, and a wheelbase of 91 inches.
Front suspension is by MacPherson strut, with a compound crank system at the rear. Wheel sizes range from 16- to 18-inch, and cars that are specified with 17- or 18-inch rims come as standard with the lowered sports chassis. The latest generation ESP system is standard on all Adams, including a Hill Start Assist function. Handling on urban roads is enhanced by a CITY mode, which increases the electronic power steering system’s assistance at lower speeds.
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